(San Diego) Dave Povey was accompanied to sea 28 Jan 2009 by Thomas A Blackman, Peter A Ginsburg and W Terry Hunefeld. We departed Shelter Island at 6:30 a.m. and motored by the bait barges, loaded with hundreds of Brantís Cormorants and a mess of California Sea Lions.
Dodging an enormous Navy ship, we checked out Ballast Point for oystercatchers, finding only a Whimbrel. We spotted about 9 Common Loons and 8 Royal Terns foraging in the harbor, along with Brant and Surf Scoters. An American Herring Gull loafed on the sausage tubes surrounding the submarine base. A Royal Tern dove, came up with a fish, and was immediately pirated by an alert Heermannís Gull.
Just past the jetty mouth we crossed paths with a Pelagic Cormorant. Our popcorn chum attracted a flock of Western, California and Heermannís Gulls, joined by one each of Glaucous-winged, Bonaparte and Herring throughout the day. 93 Black-vented Shearwaters were the only tubenoses seen on the trip.
Alcids were plentiful, especially on the inside of the Nine Mile Bank at the Mexican / U.S. Border. We totaled 175 Cassinís Auklets and 47 Rhinoceros Auklets. 2 Xantusís Murrelets were 17.6 km wsw of Point Loma. Along the way we enjoyed the antics of Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins and California Sea Lions.
We watched a couple of distant whales produce big blows, at least several seemingly higher and narrower than Gray Whale spouts, but were unable to get a look at the animals.
At the Coronados Islands in Mexico we found 5 Black Oystercatchers and counted 14 Brown Boobies on Middle Rock, including one downy chick. We observed nest-building behavior with an adult male carrying nesting material to a female on a nest (phenomenal photo by Tom Blackman at the bottom of this page).
On our return a Parasitic Jaeger crossed our path. At the Zuniga jetty we found 10 Black Turnstones, a Spotted Sandpiper, two Surfbirds and a Black Oystercatcher.
Location: San Diego County Pelagic Observation date: 1/28/09 Notes: Shelter Island to the Nine Mile Bank, then south over Coronado Canyon to the Los Coronados Islands. Brant 8 Mallard 1 Surf Scoter 15 Pacific Loon 2 Common Loon 11 Eared Grebe 2 Western Grebe 15 Black-vented Shearwater 93 Brown Pelican 35 Brandt's Cormorant 1000 Double-crested Cormorant 2 Pelagic Cormorant 2 Great Blue Heron 1 Black-crowned Night-Heron 3 Black-bellied Plover 2 Black Oystercatcher 1 Spotted Sandpiper 1 Whimbrel 1 Black Turnstone 10 Surfbird 2 Bonaparte's Gull 1 Heermann's Gull 85 Western Gull 150 California Gull 200 Herring Gull 2 Glaucous-winged Gull 1 Caspian Tern 1 Forster's Tern 2 Royal Tern 6 Parasitic Jaeger 1 Xantus's Murrelet 2 scrippsi Cassin's Auklet 175 Rhinoceros Auklet 47
Location: Islas Los Coronados Observation date: 1/28/09 Brown Booby 14 Brown Pelican 200 Brandt's Cormorant 500 Double-crested Cormorant 2 Pelagic Cormorant 2 Black Oystercatcher 5 Western Gull 500
Brown Booby carrying nesting material (c) Tom Blackman
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